Tail Lights


A broken tail light can earn you a ticket!  I’ve not received a ticket for such a thing, but I did one time receive a “fix-it” ticket when I was pulled over and didn’t know that I had a light that was out.  I got it fixed, had the vehicle re-inspected, and all was fine.

This tail light in the picture today won’t be fixed.  It is on a car in Old Car City. The tail light will never function again and now it serves as “art” for people like me.

This is an HDR image.  I find HDR photography interesting because it captures a much richer range of lighting in a scene.  But, some HDR imagery is too garish for me – I don’t like the surrealistic look of some HDR.  I think that I have found that after one processes an HDR image in Photomatix Pro 4.0 (for example), it is a good idea to then open the .tiff file in Photoshop and turn down the colors a bit because HDR can make the colors too pronounced.  That’s what I did with this file.  I liked the result.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1981, On this day in 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.  When asked about his motive for shooting the president, Hinckley revealed that he was seeking to gain the attention of the actress Jodie Foster.

After growing up in an affluence in Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, Hinckley moved to Hollywood in 1976. That same year he saw Martin Scorsese’s dark drama Taxi Driver. Hinckley watched the film some 15 times and apparently strongly identified with the title character, Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro). A violent loner, Bickle seeks the attention of a socialite by trying to assassinate a political candidate and later becomes obsessed with protecting a child prostitute by shooting her pimp. The screenwriter, Paul Schrader, based the character on Arthur Bremer, who shot the Alabama governor and U.S. presidential candidate George Wallace in 1972. In his diaries, Bremer expressed that political assassination was a way to escape anonymity and powerlessness.

As was recounted in testimony given at his 1982 trial, Hinckley began mirroring Bickle, wearing similar clothes, drinking the same peach brandy and amassing a collection of firearms. He also became fixated on Jodie Foster, who played the young prostitute in the film. During the 1980 presidential campaign, Hinckley stalked PresidentJimmy Carter, getting himself arrested in the process when he was caught at the Nashville airport with firearms. After sending him to a psychiatrist, Hinckley’s family cut him off financially. When he read Foster was attending Yale, Hinckley went there repeatedly, seeking some grand gesture he could make that would earn her attention.

On March 30, 1981, Hinckley made his gesture, managing firing six bullets in three seconds at Reagan in the middle of the crowd outside the Washington Hilton. One of the bullets struck Reagan underneath the left arm; it failed to explode on impact, leaving the president seriously injured but alive. Hinckley also shot a police officer and a Secret Service agent and seriously wounded Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady. Upon his arrest, Hinckley reportedly asked the officers if the news would disrupt the Academy Awards ceremony, scheduled for that night. The ceremony was indeed postponed until the following night, only the third time in history that the Oscars had failed to go ahead as scheduled.

At the conclusion of his trial, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was confined to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., and has remained there ever since. The case led to legislation limiting the insanity plea in several states and, 12 years later, to the signing of the Brady Bill, which required a waiting period and background check on people wishing to purchase a handgun.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  White, rather than black, is the Chinese color for mourning and funerals.


One thought on “Tail Lights

  1. Agree with your thoughts on HDR. I find it’s often overdone by exuberant photographers who have usually just recently learned the post-processing technique. Everything is spooky!

    It’s overkill 90% of the time. Like anything in life, it’s better when used in moderation!

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